Over 50s face pension and job concerns

26 May 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
Over 50s are finding themselves hit with a double whammy of worries as the recession threatens their job security and pension provision, research from Help the Aged and Age Concern has revealed.

According to the study, more than a quarter of over 50s fear that their age will see them forced out of their jobs if their employer decides to make redundancies – recent figures show that unemployment amongst the over 50s has increased by 50 per cent over the past year.

Meanwhile, almost half of survey respondents said that they are less confident than six months ago that their pension and savings will provide them with a comfortable retirement, meaning those who can get and keep work will need to work longer to keep living standards up.

Commenting on the research, Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged said: "These figures paint an extremely bleak picture for millions of over 50s whose working lives are at risk of being cut short by the recession.

"Those who do lose their jobs will face significant obstacles to getting back into work, leaving them financially vulnerable as they approach retirement. For many over 50s, one of the lasting legacies of this recession will be a retirement blighted by poverty," she added.

As a result of these obstacles facing the over 50s, Age Concern and Help the Aged have joined forces to call on the Government to commit to a three point plan which should help them through the recession.

The points include, scrapping the National Default Retirement Age, which forces people to retire at 65, to provide financial incentives for employers to employ over 50s, and to provide a tailored package of support for unemployed over 50s.

Ms Mitchell added: "During this difficult time, we are urging employers to start seeing beyond job applicants' age and look at the skills, experience and commitment older workers have to offer.

"The Government must also play their part by providing a tailored package of support for over 50s who do lose their jobs – this is currently almost non-existent," she concluded.

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